These Things We Write That Your Joy May Be Complete
Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners (1 Tim 1:15). Jesus is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him (Heb 7:25). Who are these sinners who draw near to Him (Heb 4:16; 10:22)? They are His elect people (Mt 1:21; Eph 1:4–5), who are called by His name (2 Chr 7:14), which is blessed and exalted (Neh 9:5) above every name that is named (Eph 1:21).
There is no savior besides the Lord God (Hos 13:4). Indeed, He is the Savior of the world (Jn 4:42), born in the city of David (Lk 2:11), born of a woman, under the Law (Gal 4:4). God has brought Israel a Savior, Jesus (Acts 13:23). He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand, as Prince and Savior, to grant repentance to Israel and the forgiveness of sins (Acts 5:31; 11:18).
Israel is not only the name of Messiah (Is 49:3), but it is the name given to all His gathered people from every nation, tribe, and tongue (Is 49:6; Rev 5:9; 7:9). The Israel of God is Christ’s church (Gal 6:16), in all generations and through all eternity. Our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13), saved us by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5–6).
It is the Holy Spirit sent from God (Jn 14:26; 15:26), who washes with water, by the Word (Eph 5:26). The unclean are made clean. The unjust are justified (Rom 3:24, 28; 5:1, 9). The ungodly are made to be holy (1 Thess 4:3; 1 Pet 1:15–16). The enemies of God are reconciled to Him and made to be at peace with God (Rom 5:10; 2 Cor 5:19).
This peace is realized through the one Mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus (1 Tim 2:5). He is the One who lived without sin (Heb 4:15), and offered Himself to God (Heb 9:14), as the unblemished Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the whole world (Jn 1:29). He laid down His life for His sheep (Jn 10:11, 15) and propitiated the righteous wrath of God against them (1 Jn 2:2).
Having been transferred to the kingdom of God’s beloved Son (Col 1:13), redeemed Israel now walks by the Spirit (Eph 5:25). This is a walk of faith (2 Cor 5:7; Gal 2:20), whereby the indwelling Spirit is willing and working (Rom 8:9, 11; Phil 2:13; 2 Tim 1:14), to accomplish what concerns God’s people (Ps 57:2; 138:8), according to His good pleasure and purpose (Is 46:10).
The Lord made everything for its own purpose, even the wicked for the day of evil (Prv 16:4). God’s purpose was predestined to occur (Acts 4:28), according to His predetermined plan and foreknowledge (Acts 2:23). The whole purpose of God, declared to all people (Acts 20:27), is that which He purposed in Christ Jesus (Eph 1:9, 11), and granted to us by His grace in Christ from all eternity (Eph 3:11; 2 Tim 1:9).
So great is the salvation of our God that it transforms the vilest of sinful men (Rom 12:2), conforming them into the image of God’s only begotten Son (Jn 3:16; Rom 8:29). These are sanctified, that is, set apart to be made holy by the Spirit of truth and the Word of truth (Jn 16:13; Jn 17:17).
It is the truth that sets the captives free from slavery to sin (Jn 8:32, 36; Rom 6:6, 16–20) and the fear of death (Heb 2:15). For it is appointed once for a man to die, and then comes the judgment (Heb 9:27), and all must appear before the judgment seat of Christ (2 Cor 5:10) — that great white throne (Rev 20:11), where every work done in the flesh and every idle word is judged in righteousness, on the day God has fixed (Acts 17:31).
The world is already condemned (Jn 3:18), but there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Rom 8:1). Those who are in the Lord belong to the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor 3:23). He bought them for a price (1 Cor 6:20; 7:23), which was His precious blood shed on the cross of Calvary (1 Pet 1:19), where He atoned for sin, bearing our sin in His body (1 Pet 2:24).
God accepted this substitutionary sacrifice on our behalf (2 Cor 5:21), demonstrated by God raising Jesus from the dead (Acts 17:31). He has exalted Jesus to the highest place (Phil 2:9), at the center of the throne of God (Rev 7:17), at the right hand of Majesty (Heb 1:3; 8:11), giving Him all authority in heaven and on earth (Mt 28:18), to rule and reign over all, as the Lord of all (Acts 10:36).
Friend, this Jesus is coming again in final judgment on the last day of human history, at the consummation of the ages (Mt 24–25; Mk 13; Lk 21). He is coming with His saints and angels, in great glory and incomparable power (Mt 24:10). He will destroy His enemies with the vengeance of God (Rom 12:19; Rev 19:11–21), and rescue His people for whom He has prepared a place in glory (Jn 14:2–3; Rev 21–22).
It is essential for you to recognize the goodness and the severity of God (Rom 11:22), in the matters of sin and salvation. To know Him is your salvation, and only by His grace are you saved (Eph 2:8–9), from the wrath to come (Mt 3:7; Lk 3:7; 1 Thess 1:10).
Christian, you must prepare today for the great and awful Day of the Lord (1 Thess 4–5). You must set your mind on the things of the Spirit (Rom 8:5–6), the things of heaven above (Col 3:2), where Christ is seated, and where you have your place in His presence (Eph 2:6). Call upon the name of the Lord this day and every day, praying without ceasing, giving thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you (1 Thess 5:17–18).
He has begun His good work in you (Phil 1:6). He is working in you, today, and He will finish His work, as the author and perfecter of the faith He has granted you (Phil 1:29; Heb 12:2), as a gift of His grace purposed in Christ (Eph 2:8–9; 2 Tim 1:9). In all these things, rejoice, and again I say “rejoice!” for He is near us, even in us, to bring glory to Himself, through vessels of mercy He is preparing for glory (Rom 9:23).
For from Him, through Him, and to Him are all these things (Rom 11:36), and we can only marvel to think of them, which is my purpose in writing to you, today. All His best to you, in Christ Jesus — our God, our Savior, and our Lord, from this day forth and forever. Amen.
Spokane Valley, Washington
November 30. 2022